When a marriage comes to an end via divorce, a final divorce judgment may include provisions for spousal support payments by one spouse to the other. Basically, spousal support, or alimony as it is commonly known, is meant to meet the financial needs of the dependent spouse for a specified timeframe.
However, spousal support orders are not cast in stone. Under certain circumstances, either party may petition the court for a modification of an existing spousal support order. These are some common situations that may warrant a modification.
When there are changes in either party’s financial situation
A substantial change in either party’s financial situation can generally justify alimony modification. Per Nevada laws, a 20% change in the paying party’s gross monthly income can be deemed to constitute a change in circumstance and, thus, justify a review and modification of the existing spousal support order.
However, a former spouse cannot deliberately quit their job to avoid paying spousal support. If the court establishes that job loss was voluntary, it may decline to modify an existing alimony order.
When the dependent spouse remarries or cohabits with a romantic partner
Financial obligations to a former spouse end when they remarry or cohabit with a romantic partner. It is important to note that the relationship has to be intimate. Thus, if an ex moves in with another individual in a non-romantic setting – such as with a roommate where everyone is responsible for their share of the unit’s bills – then a spouse who owes support must provide compelling evidence that their former spouse is in a romantic relationship to win a modification case.
Likewise, if a former spouse is in a romantic relationship with someone but is not living with them, then a petition for alimony modification may be declined even if there is evidence that the two are lovers.
Petitioning for a modification
If you believe that you have a case for alimony modification, do not sit back and do nothing about it. Knowing your legal options can help you protect your rights and interests when filing a petition to modify an existing alimony judgment.